During the last 20 years participating in the co-op student program, Bassett Mechanical has seen some extraordinary students come through our doors. Recent co-op student, Juan, shares his journey through our co-op program and how his work with Bassett has helped him pinpoint his dream career.
Hi! My name is Juan. I had a great experience as a co-op student at Bassett this year and I’d like to share with you some of the things I’ve learned throughout my time in this program.
I started last summer in the co-op program and began working in the tool room. The tool room was a great place to get exposure to many different areas of business. This exposure was exactly what I needed to help me identify the path I wanted to take in my career.
When I started in the tool room, I received tool orders from the foremen and field associates. I would use the order to pull the tools that each of them needed and prepare them to go out on their jobs. Having the right tools in proper working order is no small task. I had to learn every individual tool and make sure the quality of the tool was safe and ready for operation. Beyond that, I had to think outside the box and problem-solve to anticipate the jobs’ needs. What other tools might be necessary? What other materials might be required? It was my job to prepare our people for their important work. It’s a lot of responsibility that Bassett gave me so early in my career! Learning #1: Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Through the mentorship provided by my team, I learned very quickly that it was important to ask as many questions as I could. This would not only help me learn from each request but would allow me to ensure I had every detail covered. We have great people at Bassett who were always willing to share with me what the tools were used for, the correct application, and what type of trade. Asking questions helped me to learn an incredible amount of information in a short period of time.
At first, I was set on wanting to be a welder. My supervisor was instrumental in my development and encouraged me to use this co-op experience to job shadow any and all areas that I might find interest in pursuing. He helped me explore and get exposure to the many different opportunities Bassett had to offer. During this time, I participated in a job shadow with an HVAC field supervisor. This supervisor taught me about the HVAC process, the physics and science behind each step, and explained the importance of these systems to a company’s operation. It’s a really big deal making sure that the system is up and running smoothly and that our customers are well taken care of. As I learned more, I realized that a career in HVAC where I can travel, work on a variety of systems, and service customers at their locations across the United States would be a great fit for me. Learning #2: Learn from the best. A co-op is a great opportunity to learn from the experts. During my job shadow, I learned about the applications of math and science, the way chillers work, and how the fluid moves through them. I was able to receive first-hand experience and real-world exposure giving me the opportunity to visualize myself in that role and see if it would be a good future career for me.
I have completed high school, and am excited to say that I was recently hired as an HVAC Service Technician Pre-Apprentice with Bassett Mechanical. My co-op experience was an opportunity to get exposure to a big contractor and a company with a great reputation in the community. I am able to learn, do something that I love, and make a great living at the same time! It’s fun telling people about my future plans and hearing them say “wow you know what you want to do at such a young age!” Learning #3: Do what you love. I feel that Bassett has given me a great opportunity with this co-op and a huge head-start into a promising career that I am passionate about. They have invested in me, worked with me as I went through the co-op program, and continue to work with me as I further my education in HVAC. I am grateful for the chance to get to know many people at this company who supported my decision to move into HVAC. They have encouraged me to grow and advance and I am very excited to launch into my new career!